Can you rotate your own tires?

The answer is yes, but it’s really the wrong question to be asking in the first place.

A better question is: Should you rotate your own tires?

The answer in this case is probably not.

Rotating your vehicle’s tires is a breeze if you have the right tools. Unfortunately the right tools for rotating your own tires consist of a lift, a powerful compressor, and the air tools to go along with it. You could make do with a tire iron or even the right size of socket wrench, but it’s the lift that is the real sticking point. Even the most dedicated of do-it-yourselfers rarely has a hoist in their garage. If nothing else, the cost of the equipment and installation can prove prohibitive. If you could afford to put in a lift, you could probably afford to have your tires professionally rotated every single day for the next year.

At this point you may be wondering “Where to buy tires?”

Come into Swis Tire and Automotive we can check your tires, oil, brakes and anything else you feel needs a mechanics touch. Yes we sell tires!

With that said, if you’re still set on rotating your own tires here is the procedure to use.

Get your jack, spare tire and tire iron out of the trunk.

tire jack

Starting with the front left tire, place the jack in the indentation provided and illustrated in your vehicle’s owners manual. If you can’t find it, keep looking. Placing the jack anywhere else can result in costly body damage.

Jack up the car.

Remove the wheel (and tire.)

Put the spare on and make sure it is secure. Halfway measures just won’t do. If the nuts are even slightly loose the weight of the car once it is off the jack can bend or even snap the bolts.

Lower the jack.

Take the tire you have just removed to the position where you are rotating it to. This will either be the left rear position, or the right rear position. Check with your manufacturer to see what they recommend.

Jack the car up again, once again making sure that the jack is in the indentation provided.

Remove the wheel (and tire) and put on the one you took off in step 4.

Lower the jack…again.

Take the rear wheel (and tire) you just took off and place it either in the front left or front right position depending on manufacturer recommendation. Naturally, doing this means you will have move the jack…again, jack up the car…again, and remove either the spare or the front right wheel (and tire) again.

Once you’ve got the wheel (and tire) secured, you can lower the jack and repeat the procedure with the other tires, assuming that you haven’t already collapsed from exhaustion or had a massive coronary.

Can rotating your own tires save you money? Unquestionably. However it probably isn’t worth it.

Having the tires rotated by a professional doesn’t cost very much and it is pretty quick. Also, tire dealers and mechanics will often run specials where if you get your brakes inspected they will rotate the tires for free or at a ridiculously low cost.

You will save a little money, but you will also spend a lot of time and energy.

Even if you have time to spare, you will likely end up with skinned knuckles and grease under your fingernails. For most people, it simply isn’t worth it. For those who enjoy this sort of thing, I know where you can a good deal on your own hoist.

Where to buy tires?

Swis Tire and Automotive – 10% Off Any Brand Tire